Administrative Procedures

Administrative Procedure 270

School Libraries




Schools are helping students to become critical thinkers, evaluators and creators of information.  The role of the school library is to support students in their diverse learning needs across the programs of study in real and virtual landscapes in collaboration with staff, students, other libraries and the community.  Alberta Education has established a School Library Services Initiative (SLSI) that focuses on reviewing K-12 school library services and support resources(s) across the province.  The SLSI focuses on seamless access to library series for students through the “school library learning commons” perspective; an initiative using both physical and digital resources to support the school’s efforts to respond to each student’s learning needs.  The school library learning commons is a concept that helps schools innovate and collaborate within a design that adapts to student and teacher needs.


21st Century Libraries and The Learning Commons


A prevalent concept for enhanced school library services is that of a central “school library learning common” in the school.  All libraries are moving toward the learning commons concept of flexibility, so activities and spaces in the library and on the library’s Web site are flexible in design and/or furnishing to accommodate a variety of learning activities; e.g., collaborative community space, a coffee house concept.  A school library learning commons also supports ongoing critical thinking, inquiry, action research, interdisciplinary learning and brain-based learning.  A school library learning commons becomes a place of active learning in real-time or online with project, problem-based, experiential and cooperative learning that is ideally coordinated by a teacher-librarian.  The school library is a gateway to the virtual landscape, e.g. Web fiction and non-fiction in a multitude of formats in cornerstone to a student’s ability to access, examine, evaluate, restructure, create, communicate and reflect upon learning and knowledge.




Each school will develop a school library learning commons team.  The team will work collaboratively to take incremental steps to envision and create school library learning commons strategies for all students, without incurring additional financial pressure to create enhanced learning commons services and support.

Please reference the School Library Services Initiative for further guidance.


Wild Rose School Division recognizes the need for a school library program as an important and integral part of any education process.  The program must include:


  • Goals and objectives consistent with the educational program the library serves;


  • Good facilities, equipment and furniture;


  • Appropriately qualified personnel;


  • Learning resources;


  • Transportation services for the transportation of materials and equipment; and


  • Resources and personnel for improving student research and study skills.




It is the desire of the Division that schools make available to students a broad program of library instruction integrated with the instructional programs.  This will be done in cooperation with all members of the school instructional staff and administration.  This instruction will be facilitated by good physical facilities and a wide collection of print and non-print materials.


These services may be augmented by an Instructional Media Centre located at Division Education Center.


Goals and Objectives:


The school library should attempt to:


1.      Develop library skills that the student may use throughout life;


2.      Contribute to the decision making skills of students;


3.      Develop the student's ability to research and evaluate, as well as satisfy his/her own interests;


4.      Develop student's skills for organizing and using information;


5.      Develop student's skills listening, viewing and communicating (e.g. reading, writing, speaking);


6.      Provide resources for assisting the teaching staff to improve their professional competencies, and to provide resources for better instruction; and


7.      Develop positive student attitudes toward the library.


Resource Selection:


1.      Learning resources are sources of information regardless of format.  Careful evaluation and selection of these learning resources is necessary to meet student and curricular needs.


2.      The Division shall provide a wide range of learning resources at varying levels of difficulty and in several different formats.  These materials, through their diversity of appeal and their presentation of different points of view to meet the needs of students, teachers and the experiences encompassed in the curriculum, will promote the intellectual, cultural, social and ethical development of students.


3.      Learning resources shall be selected carefully.  The criteria for selection of learning resources shall be established by the teaching staff in conjunction with the librarian and Principal or designate.  The criteria shall include resources that:


3.1     Support and enrich the curriculum;


3.2     Promote reading for enjoyment, and increase appreciation for aesthetic values and commonly accepted societal standards;


3.3     Provide materials which present both sides of controversial issues so that students may make critical analyses and thereby make wise and well-informed decisions;


3.4     Stimulate intellectual growth and increase factual knowledge and application; and


3.5     Provide a wide collection of materials representing religious, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our national heritage.


4.      In addition, the school library shall evaluate and select Learning Resources according to the following criteria:


4.1     Copyright date, especially in the fields of science, social science, and useful arts;


4.2     Timeliness and permanence of the material;


4.3     Relationship of the item to the curriculum;


4.4     Relationship of the item to extra-curricular activities including reading or enjoyment;


4.5     Relationship of the items to community interests;


4.6     Guidelines for tolerance and understanding; and


4.7     Canadian content priorities.


5.      Specific criteria for the evaluation and selection of fiction. All of the above criteria will be applied in the evaluation and selection of fiction. In addition, fiction should:


5.1     Avoid stereotyping, sadism and sensationalism in reference to ethnic groups, work roles and sex roles;


5.2     Present an unbiased view of contemporary social problems;


5.3     Extend imagery appropriate to the developmental level of children; and


5.4     Present life and fantasy in a reasonable fashion.


6.      Specific criteria for the evaluation and selection of magazines and newspapers.  Magazines and newspapers shall be examined to determine if they:


6.1     Present factual information;


6.2     Discuss matters of timely interest;


6.3     Express divergent points of view;


6.4     Have value as a reference;


6.5     Are indexed in the Abridged Reader's Guide, Canadian Periodical Index, the Children's Magazine, or by an index prepared specifically for the magazine, (see Basic Canadian Index); and


6.6     Are good value for the price (that is, contain a reasonable proportion of information to advertising).


7.      Specific criteria for evaluation and selection of gifts, free materials and duplicates:


7.1     Gifts must meet the same standards as all other library materials;


7.2     Gifts must be disposed of when warranted;


7.3     Free materials must be free of excessive amounts of advertising and distortion; and


7.4     Duplicates should be purchased only when the need is definitely demonstrated.


8.      Specific criteria regarding controversial issues:


8.1     Materials on religion are chosen to explain rather than convince and are selected to represent the field as widely as necessary for school purposes;


8.2     Selection of materials on political theories or ideologies or on public issues is directed toward maintaining a balanced collection representing various views;


8.3     The fact of sexual incidents or profanity appearing should not automatically disqualify any material; and


8.4     Sexual material of a factual and instruction nature and various reading levels is recommended in conjunction with board and school policies.




Discarding Materials:


1.      Materials that have been badly damaged or 'read to pieces' should be discarded as the need arises.  Appropriate records should be kept to allow purchase of a new copy or a suitable substitute if the material is judged to be of sufficient value, interest, and/or quality to warrant the cost.


2.      Weeding should usually take place yearly during the inventory in June or on a continual basis.  Out-of-date material should be removed from the shelves in favor of more current information so that students and teachers will be able to locate relevant data in their subject area.


3.      Specific weeding procedures are outlined in a publication entitled Weeding the School Library Collection - Calgary Board of Education.


Research Skills and Study Skills:


1.      One goal of the library shall be the mastery and extension of research skills at various levels of difficulty.


2.      Research skills:


2.1     Should be taught functionally in context of a topic or study;


2.2     Must require the understanding, meaning, and purpose of the skill; and


2.3     Must be taught as required by the learner or to be taught concurrently.


Facilities, Equipment and Furnishings:


1.      Libraries shall be functional and attractive in appearance, and located in such a manner that optimum use is possible.


2.      A basic inventory of library equipment and furnishings shall be kept by the librarian.  Furnishings are dependent on school size and should be updated accordingly.


3.      Repair and maintenance of equipment and furnishings shall normally be done through the maintenance department, or when necessary, by specially trained personnel.


4.      Obsolete or unserviceable equipment shall be disposed by the Maintenance Supervisor or his designate in accordance with legislation or board policy



Revised:                 October, 2012

Reviewed:               October, 2011

Next Review by:      October 2016


Legislative References:


School Act Section 39, 60, 61


Board Policy:


Policy 11 Delegation


Cross Reference


AP 271 Challenged Resources